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Most industries’ software has fewer security flaws than financial services software

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In Science and Space: Veracode, a leading global provider of application security testing solutions, today released data revealing that, when compared to other industries, the financial services industry ranks among the best in terms of overall flaw percentage, but has one of the lowest fix rates for software security flaws. With 18% of apps possessing a major vulnerability, the sector also ranks in the middle of the pack for high-severity problems, implying that financial organisations should prioritise discovering and remediating the issues that matter the most.

“One of the benefits of having served the software development community for so long is that Veracode has been able to see changes in development processes across sectors over time.” While financial services apps have less security issues than the previous year, the industry trails behind other industries in terms of repair rate. According to Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer at Veracode, “our research showed that security training can significantly improve remediation speeds, and that companies whose development teams had completed hands-on training using real-life applications fixed flaws 35% faster than those who did not.”

The findings were detailed in the company’s annual State of Software Security report v12, which examined 20 million scans across 500,000 applications in the financial, technology, industrial, retail, healthcare, and government sectors. The banking industry has the second-lowest number of applications with security issues among the six industries, at 73 percent. In previous year’s survey, the industry had the lowest amount of software security problems across all sectors, but in this year’s study, manufacturing has surpassed it. Despite having fewer defects overall, the financial services industry is tied for bottom place with technology and government in terms of the proportion of flaws addressed.

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Securing the Global Software Supply Chain

Although the finance sector outperforms most other industries in terms of fix times for flaws discovered by dynamic, SCA, and static analysis, the study found that there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to the number of days it takes to resolve 50% of flaws—116 days for dynamic analysis, 385 days for SCA, and 288 days for static analysis. Using third-party components accounting for up to 90%* of an application’s codebase, scanning early and frequently with a mix of testing methods lowers unanticipated emergency cleanup labour and mitigates the danger of introducing third-party security problems into software.

The Veracode State of Software Security v12 financial services snapshot can be downloaded here, and a video summarising the findings can be viewed here.

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